Each January, we dedicate "Around Hear" to those low-profile local artists who are our favorites from the passing year…
Celestial Static's cynical, guitar-driven tunes are most notable for the intertwined vocals of guitarist Julie Elzerman and drummer Erin Lee. The trio, which also includes bassist Jeremy Elzerman, has performed a number of times on the Chicago club circuit, as well as doing out-of-state gigs. Celestial Static will visit Dayton, Ohio, soon to tape two songs from their second EP, the Steve Albini produced Everything I Don't Want, for a video project. (Contact: www.celestialstatic.com )
--Terrence Flamm/January 2004 issue
Everything I Don’t Want Review
Remember Morella's Forest? Fronted by Sydney Rentz, they created innovative music that was both atmospheric and dreamy while being noisy and off the wall at the same time. But the distinct element was alway's Rentz's bored schoolgirl voice - it was sugary but at the same time apathetic, passionate but at the same time wanting something more. With their Pixies albums in hand, they created records that to this day still have people reminiscing.
This is the part where Celestial Static comes in. Carrying on in that vein, this three piece not only manages to capture the dream pop sound that made their earlier counterparts so endearing, but they actually manage to make it even better. Guitarist Julie Elzerman and drummer Erin Lee usually take turns sharing lead and backing vocals and it works to great effect. The harmonization soars and feels like sugar to the ears. The bass playing of Jeremy Elzerman is warm and adds a very distinct tone to the music that not only carries it, but makes it more accessible.
Though the foundation is clearly in that dream pop vein, they manage to load their sound with generous amounts of modern rock. One song will find their guitar tone coming straight off of Gish era Smashing Pumpkins while another could be a direct throwback to Radiohead. Imitation? Nah. Simply influence. With legendary producer Steve Albini at the production helm, Celestial Static has managed to create an EP that's not only extremely accessible and listenable, but intelligent and complex as well.
by Kriss_Stress; 12.06.03
Celestial Static makes an immediate impression via Julie Elzerman's girlish vocals and hard-edged guitar playing, as well as the way she harmonizes with drummer/backup vocalist Erin Lee. Everything I Don't Want, the trio's second EP, was recorded and engineered by Steve Albini. The energetic title track is about fighting to make your own way in the world, while the more enigmatic "Harvey," "Yellow No. 5," and "Are You Breathing?" concern complicated relationships. Jeremy Elzerman's percolating bass kicks off "Intro," a hip instrumental that features layers of guitars.
-Terrence Flamm- Oct. 2003 Around Hear Section
WXRT’s Local Anesthetic
“their songs are very nice...softly slang, with the occasional sharp, toothy bite…”
94.7 The Zone
“their songs have been stuck in my head all week… really, really good stuff!”
Later in the day I saw Celestial Static on a campsite stage. This girl-fronted rock band was a lot of fun. At first I was reminded of early Viva Voce, but Celestial Static is more rooted in rock and roll. It was awesome to see singer/guitarist Julie Elzerman rocking out on guitar in a way that could make many guys jealous.
East Coast Romper
Everything I Don’t Want Review
The threesome that is CELESTIAL STATIC formed in March of 2002
and have released a 7 song EP entitled RUMORS OF SNOW and now have just finished
up their newest EP EVERYTHING I DONT WANT which was recorded and engineered by
Steve Albini. This band concentrates on the female power as Julie Elzerman (vox
and guitar), Erin Lee (Vox and drums) and Jeremy Elzerman (bass) find influence
and creative power in bands like Letters to Cleo, Veruca Salt a little Smashing
Pumpkins and Cranberries. I like the harmony induced vocals from both females in
the band a lot especially in the song HARVEY. The music on this EP isnt very
hard rock but it does combine so grungy elements in it along with modern rock
attitude. EVERYTHING I DONT WANT is a bit more punk rock modern edge and INTRO
is light and poppy instrumental. The EP ends with ARE YOU BREATHING? a mid-tempo
rock salute. If you like the powerful rock trio that blends harmony induced
vocals with light and mid-tempo tones then Chicago based CELESTIAL STATIC is
your best bet.
By: Stephanie Stevens
Now Hook it Up
Following the Former Teenage Idols was Celestial Static. I've seen them many times, and their performance never ceases to amaze me. They put on a great show, which included an 80s cover, which is definitely a hit at any bar you play it at. They played a few of their newer songs which are impressingly enough a GREAT follow up to the older stuff I'd been accustomed to, the songs from the Rumors Of Snow EP. Vocals done by Guitarist and Drummer (both female) is definitely a sound not heard at Rileys often.
-Review of March 20, 2003 show
So, today started off with Celestial Static. IIRC, they'd played last year at a campsite stage (how's that for DIY?), but this year they hit the "big leagues". All in all, a solid band that should have a fairly wide appeal with their noisy pop reminiscent of Veruca Salt or The Breeders.
by Jason Morehead
Rumors of Snow review
Produced by veteran rocker Randy Kerkman, Celestial Static owes a lot to its Chicago peers in the music business. “New Day” opens the disc with a heavy guitar sound a la Smashing Pumpkins, with vocals in the Belly/Veruca Salt/Primitives mode.
“Rain” continues this trend, with lead vocalist Julie Elzerman doing her best Breeders/Tanya Donnelly impression. “Flying Thru” opens with a bagpipe solo, then adds more Smashing Pumpkins-like guitar work by Elzerman. “Radiate” employs the current trend in female vocals: emphasis on certain syllables of words, changing their inflection or accenting them differently from the norm a style made popular by The Cranberries and Alanis Morrisette.
Much of Rumors of Snow sonically can be traced back to The Pixies, but the lyrics and vocals need to be brought in the mix. The tendency here is that they get buried beneath the fuzzy guitar, and overwhelmed by the instrumentation of Jeremy Elzerman (bass), and Erin Lee (drums and keyboards). This is probably intentional, but distracts from the overall performance for those of us who like to understand the words. Generally, though, Celestial Static shows some promise it remains to be seen if they are a niche band or if they can produce the breakthrough song that will ensure their success.
-Brian A. Smith 7/16/2002
Rumors of Snow review
Hailing out of Aurora, Ill. is a bright young trio named Celestial Static. The band consists of Julie Elzerman on lead vocals and guitar, Erin Lee on vocals, drums, and keyboards and Jeremy Elzerman on bass guitar. Let me say right off the top that Julie's vocals remind me of a cross between Leigh Nash & Julie Miller and I mean that as a compliment of the highest order. The project was recorded, engineered and mixed by Randy Kerkman and he did a fine job catching the youthful exuberance of these kids. The best way I can describe the music on this album is to say that it is good old fashioned midwestern rock n roll with a modern twist. I could picture this group opening up for John Mellencamp anytime. I would love to see them play live, hopefully someone at Cornerstone will pay attention to what they are doing and where they are going.
-Chris MacIntosh aka Grandfather Rock 9/21/2001
was one of the many underground bands that gave unofficial
concerts on the Cornerstone festival grounds. Thankfully, this Aurora, IL-based
band put on a much better show than most of this group.
The CS lineup consisted of Jeremy on bass, Erin on drums and BGVs, and Julie on lead guitar and vocals, along with a guest bagpipe player on one song. Overall, I really like their sound, especially the chick-rock harmonies. The best comparisons I can make would be a combination of The Juliana Theory and The Buffys (my favorite all-girl punk band).
Favorite songs included “Static Cling,” a song that compares static cling with falling in love; “ Liquid,” a praise song; and my favorite, “Rain,” a song that speaks of God’s love falling like rain.
Afterwards, I talked with drummer Erin, who says that the band has a 3-song EP out now and will have a 7-song EP coming soon.
on Cornerstone 2001
-James M. Branum